Honours and Awards
About Alex Goldsmith- How it all started
Alex has served the cause of bowls for the blind on a voluntary basis for the past 23 years.
In the latter part of 1989, Alex , who had become involved with blind bowls, flew to South Africa to participate in an intensive coaching course run by that country’s top blind bowls coaches. Shortly after his return, he felt that Israel should have its own national body, and he formed and registered the Israel Lawn Bowls Association for the Blind as an Israeli non-profit organisation.
By 1992, bowls for the blind was being played in Haifa, Ramat Gan, Raanana and Jerusalem.
Shortly after the founding of the Organisation, Alex succeeded in getting funding for it from the National Lottery, the Ministry of Sport and Ayelet. To this day, ILBAB continues to receive financial backing and assistance from these bodies.
The World Championships for the Blind held in Victoria, Canada in 1993, saw Israel participating in an international competition for the first time, with four bowlers and 4 coaches. To the surprise of everyone, Itsik Baranes (coach, Alex Goldsmith) and Tami Carmeli (c. Ivan Israel) won the silver medal in the B1 pairs category.
ESSIE NARUNSKY DAY
In 1996, Essie Narunsky, one of the stalwarts of blind bowls in the early years, passed away.Subsequently, at Alex's initiative, the Israeli Blind Bowls committee decided to institute an annual event to commemorate her contribution, in which blind and sighted bowlers play together in the same teams. To this day the “Essie Narunsky Day” is a much anticipated event on the Israeli bowls calendar and is always fully subscribed, with some 150 people participating.
At the initiative of Alex, and Jim Bircham from Scotland, it was decided that competive\social visits between countries could greatly enhance the game, and in 1995 Israel hosted a team from Scotland on a very successful tour.
This was the start of many international competitions launched by him the highlight of which was when 69 visitors from Scotland, Canada, South Africa, as well as Israel's blind bowlers, participated in a Tournament held in Israel in 2000 under the auspices of Mrs. Rauma Weizman, wife of the State President.
In 2000, the Israel Ministry of Labour and Social Services presented him with a special award for his voluntary work in promoting services for the blind, and in 2002 he won the the Telfed Volunteer Award.
HONORARY LIFE PRESIDENT
He served as President of the Israel Lawn Bowls Association for the Blind from its inception till 2003. That year, he was unanimously elected Honorary Life President of the Organisation.
In 2005 he was elected President of the International Blind Bowls Association for a four year term, after serving as Vice-President from 2001-2005. He continued on the World Committee from 2009-2011 in the capacity of Immediate Past President.
In 2009, the IBBA asked Alex to make a detailed coaching video which to this day serves as the standard for coaching blind bowlers worldwide.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
This year, 2012, the Mayor of the the city of Raanana presented him with a certificate of recognition for his contribution to the visually impaired. He was also elected "Volunteer of the Year" at a special ceremony by the Lions of Israel.
Currently, Alex serves as the chief coach of the Raanana Blind Bowls Club, which he founded in 1991, and which today is one of the largest clubs in the world for blind bowlers, with close to 50 members.
WORLD EXECUTIVE OF THE IBBA 2005-2009
Standing l to r: Kerry McGuire(Australia), David Thomas(Scotland),David Monk(New Zealand), Shirley Ahearn(Canada) - Secretary.
Seated l to r: Helen Stallard (New Zealand),- Treasurer, Alex Goldsmith (Israel) - President, Cathy Donaldson(South Africa) - Vice President.
Alex receiving a Certificate of Recognition from the Mayor of Raanana, Israel, for his contribution over the years to the visually impaired.
LIONS MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD 2012
TELFED VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
CERTIFICATES OF RECOGNITION
Israel T.V. Interview